Once the babies on your shopping list start to get around (and get into everything) on their own, it’s a whole new world of gift giving. Shopping for gifts for toddler boys and toddler girls this holiday season? These are our top picks for gifts for toddlers.
1. Lost My Name Books
It’s never too soon to start reading to a child. And you can personalize these best-selling picture books with baby’s name to make storytelling even more fun and special. The story unfolds according to the letters in the gift recipient’s name, making the Lost My Name Books a perfect gift for the holidays (and any occasion, really).
2. Evenflo Pivot Xplore
Anything with wheels is bound to be a hit for the toddler in your life—and all the better if it happens to be something that can make leisure time a little easier for parents, too. The Evenflo Pivot Xplore is a splurge, to be sure. But particularly for families who have more than one little kid, it’ll quickly become indispensable on neighborhood walks and outings to the park or beach. Two kids between the ages of six months and five years can be accommodated in the wagon, and the handle adjusts so that it can also be used as stroller. The dual sunshades might be our favorite features of all.
Older toddlers will get a kick out of these colorful magnetic tiles that can be easily put together to form 3-D shapes and simple structures. (Houses are a reliable standby you can show them how to build.) The concept behind the tiles’ ability to help stimulate their math, spacial and science skills may be lost on the little ones, but you can bet their fine motor skills and other senses will be stimulated as they play. It’s easy to toss a handful of the tiles into your carry-on bag, too, for in-flight fun.
4. Finger Crayons
An easy toddler gift for little ones to clasp in their palms or place on their fingertips, these big and bulky finger crayons will make them feel like magical artists in charge of their own drawing destiny. Just roll out some butcher paper on the floor and let the creativity unfurl. Pack a few crayons or all of them to bring along on road trips or a flight, too.
5. Edushape Glow in the Dark Sensory Ball
If it rolls, toddlers are very likely to be into watching where it goes. But a ball that also happens to glow in the dark and stimulate tiny fingers with a fun, nubby surface has just the X factor to set it apart from the spherical masses and kids interested in daylight and darkness. The Edushape Glow in the Dark Sensory Ball also helps toddlers finesse their gross motor skills and tactile senses, which makes us love it all the more.
6. Toddler Airplane Backpack
The toddler years are a good time to start honing your future travelers’ carry-on skills. And the gift of a toddler-sized backpack they can wear to daycare or on adventures farther afield is a good entry point they’ll love. The cute airplane design is complete with wings and a tail and is sized perfectly for the under-3 jet-set. Inside the backpack’s fuselage, there’s just enough space for stashing toddler essentials like sippy cups, a few diapers and a blankie.
7. Playdough Modeling Compound 10-Pack
It’s easy to overlook the simplest toddler gifts out there, but good old Playdough is hard to beat when it comes to the cost-to-fun ratio (read: most amount of enjoyment for minimal outlay of cash). And why not go the distance by getting this ten-deep spread of color selections for the little ones to mix and mold into whatever their creative minds can think up. Pro tip: keep a few canisters unopened for your next flight and pull them out for a tray table playtime surprise.
8. LeapFrog Smart Sizzlin’ BBQ Grill
It’s always cookout season when your favorite toddler can sizzle up a fake feast indoors or outdoors alongside mom and dad with this fun play grill from LeapFrog. Sizzling sounds fill the air as the grill “heats up,” much to kids’ delight, and there are modes that teach counting and play music, too, while they turn the skewers and plate realistic-looking burgers. Tidy adults will appreciate that all the accessories for the grill fit neatly aside when it’s time to store things away for the day.
9. Disney Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace by Little People
With Frozen 2 reprising the original Disney blockbuster animation film just in time for the 2019 holiday season, go ahead and “let it go” with the purchase of an Elsa-themed Ice Palace toddlers will adore. The ice castle is complete with lights that make it glow glacier-blue from within, a mini Olaf and Elsa, a spinning snowflake and—for better or for worse—a button they can push to play “Let it Go” on repeat.
10. MOLUK Bilibo
Some things just can’t be explained. And as baffling as the pronunciation of this Swiss-designed gift is, you’ll be even more bewildered by how such an oddly simple-looking piece of plastic has the power to keep your toddler enchanted like almost nothing else. Watch as their minds figure out how best they want to use the Bilibo—perhaps as a hat, a seat to rock in, a shell for hiding things under, or limitless other options. We only wish we were wise enough to event such a marvel.
11. Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo
Baby’s sensory explorations take a colorful turn with the Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo, a popular stacking toy. The six weighted spheres are patterned with two contrasting colors to draw baby’s attention. And once they’re old enough to grab on, kids have fun stacking, wobbling and rolling the balls while practicing their fine motor skills.
12. Leap Frog Tad Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set
It’s never too early to start singing baby’s ABCs, and this refrigerator magnetic set makes it as fun as a library sing-a-long for kids, with songs like Wheels on the Bus to keep the learnings animated. The colorful letters chant out their role in the alphabet and they’re big enough for baby hands to handle and practice sticking to the fridge. The Leap Frog Tad Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set grows with your kids, too, with new tunes and teachings to discover once they learn to place the letter inside the bus window.
13. P’Kolino Little Reader Chair
Shortly after babies learn to walk, they’ll have fun learning how to sit just like their caregivers do in the P’Kolino Little Reader Chair that’s just their size. Sturdy and soft to the touch, the chair is made from a micro fiber that’s stain resistant and exceptionally easy to clean with a simple wipe down with a damp cloth. You can choose from many bright colors and striped patterns to match baby’s playroom, bedroom or the greater living space. Just add a few booksto the arm rest and let the cozying up begin.
14. Fisher-Price Lil’ Snoopy
“Plays well with toy doggies” is something you can add to baby’s resume after you gift them this inexpensive and endlessly fun pull-along pup. The concept is simple—they pull the Fisher-Price Lil’ Snoopy leash, which makes it turn its head, wiggle its ears, wag its tail and even bark. Snoopy is small enough to toss in the diaper bag and bring along to the park or on your travels. And the best part? Batteries aren’t required.
Longtime travel writer and adventurer Terry Ward lives in Florida with her husband and young son and daughter. She’s constantly on the lookout for the next Scandinavia Airlines Kids Fly Free deal to save money on flights to Norway, her favorite place to visit both in the winter (Northern Lights!) and summer (Midnight Sun!). A travel writer since 2001 (read: long before the kids came along), she’s written for such publications as Endless Vacation Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. Find Terry on her website, Terry-Ward.com.
What to Pack for Your Next Trip
Girl’s Holiday Party Outfit
Boy’s Holiday Party Outfit
Women’s/Mom’s Holiday Party Outfit
Men’s/Dad’s Holiday Party Outfit
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